Ever have one of those dream where you wondered what sparked such an odd occurrence? Better yet, have you ever had a nightmare you couldn’t explain? Well, these questions have been running through my mind lately. It occurs to me that dream analysis is a fairly popular topic, but one I haven’t talked about at all. The Tree of Life is perfect for interpreting dreams. So, why don’t we see what we can learn? I’ll even share a somewhat personal example with you.
While this year long project is new for me, I’ve been studying the Occult for quite a bit of time already. Almost immediately, I started to have problems sleeping at night. I’d wake up startled, as if I were having nightmares. The problem? Well, I couldn’t remember what these dreams were about. How could I solve such an issue without knowing where to begin? To complicate matters, dream interpretation has never been easy for me. So, I asked around. The entire community was really helpful, and very kind.
Taking their considerations into account, I decided to formulate a process for dream interpretation. This process doesn’t really contain anything new, so please don’t think I’ve created something out of nothing! But, it’s just a process that works for me. I actually found myself eager to try it out and see the results!
Step One: The Tarot Reading
For me, the first step of this had to be a tarot reading. Why? Because it gave me a starting point, an initial insight. I did a simple three card spread asking what the root of my bad dreams could be. The spread was broken down into: Background, Problem, Advice. Pretty simple right? Well, the cards I got were, at first, a little perplexing. Keep in mind, I’ve been meditating on tarot daily. Doing a tarot reading did surprisingly take on a new ‘energy’ after shying away from them for the sake of concentrating. In any case, here’s the spread:
Background, Problem, & Advice
Interpreting this spread had everything to do with the background card, or, the Knight of Cups. This is a card that generally relates to emotional flux, especially toward family relationships. For me, that resonated very clear. Add to this the Five of Wands, and things seem, at first, a little odd. The card typically means fierce competition, but I’m not competing with family in any capacity really. I took a closer look at the interpretation, and something stood out to me. This ‘competition’ can lead to inner doubts. That hit closer to the mark. The advice then was The Star, a card that is hopeful but in the long term.
Overall, the spread begins to paint a picture of what could be sparking my bad dreams. The emotional ups and downs are stirring up feelings of doubt, perhaps even fear. This seems pretty clear. So, with that in mind, I went to bed determined to work on my self-doubts and any fears that presented themselves.
Step Two: The Dream
Let me be the first person to say how difficult dream recall really is. I’m truly terrible at remembering anything I dream. But, I did try anyway. Luckily, the determination I had must have won out. I recalled my dream… or a snippet of it at least. The weird thing is I knew this snippet was more important than anything else, and seem to have allowed myself to forget the rest. That is something to work on at a later date! For now though, I can tell you I had a dream about Lancelot. This is actually funny, in that it is quite odd for me. But, let me explain.
A couple years ago, I started researching Celtic Traditions of Wicca. Along the way, I found the Arthurian Tradition. This is a path of Wicca that uses the tales of King Arthur as a symbolic way of understanding broader concepts of ‘God’. At the core, I can’t help but feel this is an earlier form of Pop Culture magic. Either way, I’ve always connected to the Arthurian Tradition. The symbolism of Lancelot in my dream was kind of startling nonetheless.
Just to give the overall basis of my dream, Lancelot confessed his love to Guinevere. The odd thing about this whole thing was I essentially was Guinevere. Before this dream, I actually hated her with a passion. In fact, now that I think about it, I can’t imagine playing Lancelot either. For those familiar with the myth, or for those who may have read or seen The Mists of Avalon I’m more of a Arthur/Morgana centered person. But, I’ve digressed a little bit. Let us continue.
To sum up the dream, I felt it insisted I realize the connection between Lancelot and Guinevere. This sounds absurd at first, I mean, who can forget the connection? But, more importantly, I felt it important to realize this connect was indeed Love. The blatant feeling of this leads me to think of Love as an embodied concept not simply an emotion. In short, I remembered all this to examine it in the morning.
Step Three: The Interpretation
Since I’ve been working so much with the Tree of Life, I decided to use it to interpret my dream. Lancelot and Guinevere were simply symbols for something much deeper after all. The problem was, how do I go about this when there are no correspondences for Arthurian characters on the Tree of Life? Well, it turns out, figure this out answered almost every other issue along the way. For those unfamiliar, here’s a Tree of Life:
Now, because I had little else to use as a guide, I decided to intuitively place Guinevere and Lancelot on the Tree. To help, I decided to go with the strongest influence first: Lancelot. When trying to decide where Lancelot belonged, I first recalled everything about him that I could. The first characteristic that came to my mind is that Lancelot is a warrior or knight. Well, this would place him in the sphere of Geburah (Severity). This though, has to be incorrect. I normally associate Geburah with energies similar to Ares. The embodiment of Geburah in the form of Lancelot simply doesn’t fit. So, I took a closer look, grasping for anything I knew.
What I knew, beyond a doubt, is that King Arthur belonged in Tifereth (at least to me). This is the sphere of the Sun and sacrificial deities, like King Arthur. I assumed then, that a knight could not be above his king. This leaves me with only four options for Lancelot. Hod is a sphere of Splendor, Netzach is a sphere of Victory, Yesod is a sphere of Foundation, and Malkhuth is a sphere of The Kingdom. This doesn’t seem to help at first, but I stuck with it and examined the planet energies of each sphere. Hod is given Mercury, Netzach is given Venus, Yesod is given the Moon, and Malkhuth is given Earth.
This actually helps us immensely. Remember what I said about my dream? Lancelot was insistent I realize he ‘loved’ Guinevere. That puts him in harmony with the themes of Netzach. But where then does Guinevere herself go? To answer that, I admit, I actually had do a little bit of reading about Guinevere. She simply doesn’t fit in Hod, as this would be similar to Hermes. Guinevere isn’t a messenger, she’s more important than that. So, where does she go? To me, she actually belongs in Tifereth. How? Well, she definitely represents beauty. More importantly however, she is linked to Arthur. Guinevere in some myths is necessary for Arthur to be a legitimate King. In other words, they are linked, two halves of the same whole.
But, the interpretation doesn’t end there. I began to examine this information for any little thing that stood out. Naturally, this started in Malkhuth. We all start our journey in Malkhuth (at least that’s my understanding). From there, we can go three places, Hod, Yesod, or Netzach. Yesod is actually the sphere of the Moon, and with it magic. To me, this seemed like my ‘next’ place. I assigned this realm the embodiment of Morgana. But how do I move on from there? Well, that’s actually a really important question for me. Taking a look, I noticed the path between Yesod (Morgana) and Netzach (Lancelot) is actually The Star tarot card.
Now, remember my tarot spread? The Star came up as an advice card. Why? What does this really hint at? Well, for me, I was reminded of the significance of feeling myself as Guinevere in my dream. This means, in fact, she was my ‘higher’ self. My next step in life might just be rooted in Tifereth (where we assigned Guinevere). If this is true, then I need to examine the way I got to Netzach in the first place. Do I take the path from Netzach to Tifereth? I don’t think so, as this path is assigned the Death card.
Just to be clear, I know a lot of people fear the Death card. This is because people take it a little bit too literally. I do think the card can mean physical death, but those times are rare and in a certain context. To me, Death is symbolic, an ending of a project or way of thinking. In the case of moving to Tifereth, I don’t feel an endings going on. Better put, I don’t think I’m holding onto something I should be letting go of instead. This cannot be the cause of my bad dreams. What then, do I do?
Step Four: The Conclusion
At some point in this process, you have to stop examining the meanings. For me, I did get my answer. The path forward is obvious: go back to Yesod. Taking a step back means I will be able to travel to Tifereth by the path assigned the Temperance card. When I look up the meaning of Temperance in tarot, I see the source of my discontentment. Temperance is about a balance between Fire and Water. For me, I have a strong aversion to Water based symbolism. It’s a challenge, a means to better myself. Here is something I’m avoiding. This makes sense. All that… from a dream. Maybe this is just a personal rambling, in any case, if you try this process let me know! I’d be interested in hearing your results!